Some People Seem to Be Able to Make Miserable Over Anything

So I had a little to-do with the editor of the local rag here in my small town. I’ve been writing book-related bits for it for a couple of years now, usually author profiles, which are wonderful when I like the book and painful when I don’t. So far it’s been 90-10, guess in which direction.

Anyhow, I was asked to do a piece on our independent bookstore’s 15th anniversary. Nothing makes me happier than seeing an indie bookstore still alive, so I happily interviewed the owner and the manager and wrote up a nice optimistic piece about all their plans for the future. And sent it in to my editor. Who added just a tiny clause that was basically a shot at the owner. Very mean. Totally out of tone with the rest of the piece. I asked Ed to take it out. Ed said no, and made a couple of other nasty remarks about the owner. I thought screw this, and asked to have my name taken off the piece. (I don’t get paid for these, I do it in exchange for a one-line mention of a small business I have here in town.) Back and forth a little more, but I just insisted that Ed remove my name, and it came off.

Highly doubtful I’ll be asked to do any further writing for them but that’s fine. There’re only so many self-published novels, most of them written by retired gents wanting to relive their youth (the tell-tale: the hero is always a, erm, mature man with a toothsome young female sidekick), that one can stomach.

As a thank-you to any who have plowed their way through this tiny tempest in a teacup, here’s a book recommendation. The latest John Le Carre, Our Kind of Traitor. Le Carre knows his way around a keyboard, and uses all kinds of tricksy little techniques that a lesser writer would screw up terribly. Le Carre, of course, doesn’t. He keeps his narrative under complete and effortless control that rewards the close reading you need to give it.


Delta Sierra

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